Saturday, March 2, 2013

REVIEW: Apple And The Three Oranges - Free And Easy: The Complete Works, 1970-1975

Apple And The Three Oranges was the moniker under which Los Angeles drummer/singer/songwriter Ed “Apple” Nelson most frequently recorded, and Now-Again Records has compiled his hard-to-find, sought-after singles into this comprehensive collection, Free And Easy. Though his session work for other jazz, soul and funk artist would fill a large volume, Nelson had a relatively short run as a solo artist, releasing a number of 45's in the early 70's. For years, Apple's stuff has been sought after -- lo-fi, out of print and rare, it seemed that most people would have to either bid high at auction for the vinyl, experience this stuff second-hand, or just borrow it. This compilation remedies that, and adds some great liner notes as well.

Here's an interview from LA Weekly with Nelson and Now-Again label head Eothen "Egon" Alapatt from 2010. And here's a pic from Nelson's visit to Now-Again's offices to sign some papers authorizing his music for this compilation in 2010:

Extra credit to all for their persistence, but mostly for the great quality of this package. Whether it's James Brown-style raps and psychedelic guitars of "Curse Upon the World", the totally funky beats, chicken scratch guitar and horns of "Down Home Publicity", or the lover's crooning of "True Love Will Never Die" and  "I'll Give You a Ring (When I Come, If I Come)", Apple's music fits squarely in the soul/funk canon of the 70's and this compilation of his work, complete with a lengthy interview in the accompanying booklet, is just terrific.

If you heard Apple's "Curse Upon the World" on the previous Now-Again compilation California Funk, you've had a taste of this and will definitely want the rest. If not, you are in for a real treat. It's done in typical deluxe Now-Again fashion. A free download of "I'll Give You a Ring (When I Come, If I Come)" is available here from the label. Free And Easy will be available Tuesday, March 5.

Free And Easy at Now-Again website

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